For Partners

The practicum is intended to give students the opportunity to work on research projects in partnership with Indigenous communities and organizations. While we do have some university requirements that projects must meet, especially in research ethics review processes, the guiding principle of the research practicum is that projects are based on your ideas and are designed to meet your needs. Students work about 8 hours a week on the projects. Preliminary work generally begins in mid-October with the bulk of work starting in mid-November. The practicum concludes in March.

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FAQ for Practicum Partners

While we do have some Program requirements that projects must meet – for example, the organizational work must have a research component, a timeline that can be completed from November to March and meet research ethics requirements – the guiding principle of the practicum is that projects are based on your ideas and are designed to meet your needs.

Students will have approximately 130 total hours to work on their practicum project. This allows for about eight hours per week to work on their projects, beginning in November and concluding by the mid March. However, these hours can be flexible depending on the nature of the project and the needs of your organization. This should be negotiated in the early stages of the research project design.

First Nations and Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary program within UBC's Faculty of Arts.  Our students work with faculty to develop their own areas of interest within Indigenous topics, for example, film and new media, gender studies, and Indigenous rights. The Program is built around a set of core of courses with emphasis on community based research.  This training uniquely positions them to support research with Indigenous organizations and communities that work closely with Indigenous peoples. Our students form lasting relationships with community partners while developing innovative, community-led research. A high percentage of students in the Program are from First Nations communities, but other students also enroll in our courses.

First Nations and Indigenous Studies will arrange a meeting on campus with all Indigenous communities and organizations that have expressed interest in a practicum student. At this meeting you and representatives from other organizations have an opportunity to meet with students, explain the research
projects you have in mind, and answer preliminary questions. Following that meeting, students will investigate the projects in which they are most interested and apply to the organizations of their choice. We encourage students to submit more than one application to ensure that during the interview process both organizations and students have the opportunity to find a good match. While not every organization receives a student every year, neither are you obligated to accept a student you do not think would fit well with your organization. Once you have accepted a student, we will work with you and the student to finalize a project design, including methodology, timelines, responsibilities, and evaluation criteria.

It is extremely important for a student to work well with your organization. You are not obligated to accept any student you do not think would work well with your organization.

Reciprocity is core to the sustainability and success of our practicum. Students work with instructors and you to design a research program that supports your organization in ways that you and your community define.

In return, you offer student guidance and mentorship specific to your industry/field. In this way, learning occurs both in the classroom (with FNIS instructors) and, more importantly, in the field (with you and your organization).

As a whole, we aim to provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and broaden their experience with educational opportunities that you are uniquely positioned to deliver. That said, your role as a supervisor will vary depending on the nature of your project. If, for instance, you have a student working to organize an archive, you may need to do fairly little supervision beyond identifying the materials, your conditions for working with them, providing support throughout the ethics process, and what you hope for as an outcome. If you are asking the student to assist in the preparation of documentation for an application for funding, you might want to direct the student more often as to what needs to be done and whether the work they are doing will work the way you want it to. If you are directing a research project in which the student plays a very specific role, your supervision is likely to be far more extensive.

We will work with you and the student to clarify the details and find the best level of supervision for your project. We will also support the student with help from our end, and we will check in with you routinely to ensure that the Practicum is functioning smoothly. We also ask students to complete weekly written progress reports. These reports, which will be emailed to you, allow students and organizations to check in with one another on a regular basis.

In September, we invite all organizations interested in a practicum student to a meeting at UBC to introduce themselves to the class and talk about their project and organization. Students benefit greatly from this meeting; however, if you are unable to attend, we can forward information about your project and organization to the students in the course. In April, we invite you back to UBC when the practicum students present their projects. During the rest of the year, we are happy to meet with you to discuss the progress the students are making on their projects.

Any projects conducted by UBC students that involve interviews, focus groups, or other types of human research require a mandatory UBC research ethics review process. We understand that projects in Indigenous communities or organizations may also require additional review processes or adherence with specific protocols before a student may begin working on those portions of projects. We will work with you and the student to complete any necessary research ethics applications or paperwork. Before our meeting in September, we are happy to discuss ideas you may have for our research project.

Practicum instructors ask supervisors to submit a letter of evaluation once the project is complete. More information about the letter of evaluation will be provided closer to the completion of the project.

The practicum positions are not paid positions. Students complete the practicum as part of a senior-level course requirement, FNIS 400–Research Practicum.

Yes. Some students have gone on to work for their organizations in short-term and long-term positions after completing their practicums.